Evangeline Enterprises LLC Settlement Information Sheet
(Washington, DC - October 31, 2018) - Racehorse training-center operator Evangeline Enterprises LLC has agreed to pay $300,000 in civil penalties and to make changes in its handling of polluted wastewater at its Louisiana facility to settle Clean Water Act claims filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), the Department of Justice and EPA announced today.
- Injunctive Relief
- Pollutant Impacts
- Health Effects and Environmental Benefits
- Civil Penalty
- Comment Period
Overview of Company
Evangeline Enterprises LLC (Evangeline), doing business as Evangeline Training Center, is a large concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) horse training facility located in Carencro, Louisiana.
On October 19, 2017, the U.S. and LDEQ filed a complaint against Evangeline for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Louisiana Environmental Quality Act (LEQA). The complaint alleges violations of CWA Section 301 for unpermitted discharges of manure and process wastewater to waters of the United States from a large CAFO with over 500 horses. The discharges flow through man-made ditches, unnamed tributaries, and the Francois Coulee before eventually flowing into the Vermilion River, a traditionally navigable water that is listed by Louisiana as water quality-impaired for nutrients and fecal coliform bacteria. The unnamed tributaries and the Francois Coulee are navigable waters within the meaning of CWA Section 502(7) and waters of the State of Louisiana under the Louisiana Environmental Quality Act.
The complaint also alleges that Evangeline failed to comply with a Unilateral Administrative Order to cease ongoing unauthorized discharges at the facility, which EPA issued on July 29, 2013 pursuant to EPA’s authority under CWA Section 309(a)(3).
The consent decree requires Evangeline to take certain measures to comply with the CWA and LEQA, such as: applying for a Louisiana National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit; installing rain gutters on the roofs of buildings and connect them to dedicated drainage infrastructure to avoid contact with manure, waste, feed, or bedding material; thoroughly cleaning the ditches at the facility; implementing best management practices; performing sampling and monitoring; maintaining records; and submitting Quarterly Reports.
If Evangeline makes a business decision to permanently close its facility, the company must provide formal notice to the U.S. and LDEQ; once this occurs, Evangeline can request that the consent decree be modified to end their obligation to meet certain compliance measures.
Pollutants associated with CAFO discharges include nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), pathogens (bacteria), and organic enrichment (low dissolved oxygen) which can contribute to water quality impairment in U.S. waters. Other potential environmental and human health risks include contamination of drinking water sources, transmission of disease-causing bacteria and parasites associated with food and waterborne diseases, fish advisories, and algal blooms. This facility has unauthorized discharges of pollutants that ultimately discharge to the Vermilion River – a surface water that has been identified by the state as water quality impaired due to bacteria (i.e., fecal coliform) and nutrients. Fecal coliform sampling results indicated extremely high numbers of fecal coliform (up to 10,000 colonies per 100 ml) in the discharges sampled by the facility and EPA.
Health Effects and Environmental Benefits
The consent decree will lead to the reduction and eventual elimination of process wastewater and other pollutants associated with CAFOs. It was estimated that 10,500 gallons of horse washwater was generated and discharged. On an annual basis, 3,832,500 gallons of horse washwater may be eliminated.
The consent decree requires Evangeline to pay a civil penalty of $300,000, to be shared equally between the U.S. and LDEQ.
The settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. Information on submitting comment is available at the Department of Justice.
For more information, contact:
Kristin Buterbaugh, Attorney-Adviser
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
Ellen Chang-Vaughan, Assistant Regional Counsel
Office of Regional Counsel
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6
1445 Ross Ave.
Dallas, Texas 75202